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Exploring languages and cultures
Exploring languages and cultures

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4.4.1 Managing diversity

Diversity is an asset but, as you have just seen in Activity 34, people’s understanding of what constitutes acceptable behaviour at work can differ from one culture to another. So how can staff from different cultures learn to work together?

Activity 35

In this next audio clip, Nigel White discusses recognising differences in any working relationship. He talks specifically from the perspective of someone helping to facilitate a merger between two companies from very different cultural backgrounds. Listen to the audio and complete the task below.

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Recognising differences
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Summarise Nigel White’s key message in one sentence.

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Here is one possible answer:

Recognise differences but try to accommodate to them.

In this section, through the example of Guidance Navigation, you have seen how a company can learn to work in a multicultural and multilingual environment, and how this benefits the organisation in terms of its flexibility and potential to innovate. However, it also means that employees have to learn to accommodate different behaviours and adapt their approaches and language use accordingly.